Published: Wed, February 17, 2021
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Australian Open: Ash Barty, world No. 1, stunned in quarterfinals

Australian Open: Ash Barty, world No. 1, stunned in quarterfinals

Aussie world number one Ash Barty has refused to blame Karolina Muchova's second set injury time out for her shock quarter-final loss at the Australian Open.

Barty had no complaints about Muchova halting play. Brady, 25, slammed down four straight aces in the seventh game but her serve then became errant as Pegula sealed the first set.

114 - Karatsev's current ranking, who has already defeated two seeded players on his way to becoming the lowest-ranked man to reach the quarter-finals since Patrick McEnroe at AO 1991.

Comebacks have been a staple in the tournament for Muchova, who rallied in earlier matches to win sets after trailing 5-0 and 4-0. As the 24-year-old trudged off the court, she signaled to chair umpire Carlos Ramos that she required a medical timeout.

"I started to feel a bit lost by the end of the first set and my head was spinning, so I took a break", Muchova explained after the match. She breezed through the tournament up to this point, and this was the first match she played that went to three sets.

Barty played without what would have been overwhelming Rod Laver Arena crowd support.

"When you call for the trainer, you tell the umpire what the reason is", she said.

It was nearly as if Barty thought the task had been completed and couldn't quite motivate herself back into top gear. The unseeded Pegula, who advanced beyond the third round at a major for the first time, appeared to tire down the stretch.

There was no let-up from the Barty early in the second with another immediate break then a service hold to love with Muchova spraying the ball everywhere. "And it helped me". "I think for the rest of the set, that was the story". There will be a few questions asked about the medical timeout.

"I was a bit lost on the court and my head was spinning so I took a break", said Muchova, while Barty, a semi-finalist a year ago, called her latest near-miss "heartbreaking". She had been rattled.

Brady's achievement is notable, as she is the last woman standing among those who served a hard 14-day quarantine after arriving in Australia - unlike other players, who were allowed out of their hotels for five hours a day to train.

Jennifer Brady has reached her second Grand Slam semifinal in a row by beating fellow American and good friend Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the Australian Open.

Golden opportunities, such as these, to win your home Grand Slam don't come around all that often and for Barty to squander two, in back-to-back years, is a major disappointment.

"If she wasn't within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so". We go about our work again. Will it deter me, will it ruin the fact we've had a really successful start to our season?

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